Legislative Updates from the AACU

State Society conference: Vigilance in the political process essentialLeaders of state, national, and subspecialty urologic societies from around the country converged in Rosemont, IL in September for a weekend of health policy discussions and advocacy tips with public officials, policy experts, and fellow urologists. One of the themes reinforced at the 7th Annual State Society Network Advocacy Conference, hosted by the AACU, was the importance and impact of physician engagement in the political process.
States take novel steps to address work force shortageAs policymakers learn about the burgeoning bottleneck between medical school graduation and graduate medical education, a number of novel approaches to physician training have launched from Sacramento to Jefferson City to Tallahassee. Not surprisingly, many of these solutions pit providers against one another amid concerns about patient safety and the dilution of professional standards.
INFOGRAPHIC: How states are stepping in to fund physician trainingThis infographic depicts the efforts of several states to boost graduate medical education funding. Is your state among them?
Supreme Court case may impact state scope of practice lawsEarlier this spring, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the case of North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, a case arising out of the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners’ (NC Dentistry Board) attempt to enforce the state’s scope of practice laws against a group of non-dentists. While this case arises out of a dispute between North Carolina dentists and non-dentists, its outcome is being watched by state dental and medical boards throughout the country for its impact on their ability to regulate the practice of dentistry and medicine within their own states, particularly with respect to scope of practice.
ACA’s ‘grace period’ shows physician-led reform must be grassrootsProfessional organizations including the AACU empower individual urologists with resources that support grassroots engagement in vital campaigns to re-assert the physician's role in health reform.
States push independence for NPPs: A solution to work force crisis?Of the myriad proposed solutions to physician shortages, an expanded scope of practice for non-physician providers can be swiftly implemented by policymakers eager for a quick fix. Unfortunately, quick fixes usually involve shoddy workmanship and, as applied to the provision of health care, shoddy workmanship endangers patient safety.
SGR repeal and the 2014 Joint Advocacy Conference: Timing is everythingThe 2014 Urology Joint Advocacy Conference (JAC), co-sponsored by the American Association of Clinical Urologists and the American Urological Association, turned out to be an opportune time for urologists visiting Capitol Hill.
Legal hurdles may stall telehealth’s role in work force crisisAs thousands of baby boomers age into Medicare every day and millions of newly insured Americans seek health care, analysts point to expanded utilization of telehealth services as one way to alleviate physician shortages and ensure access to care.
Battle over tort reform, physician drug testing wages in CaliforniaA battle is brewing in California between trial lawyers and physicians, one that could be a harbinger of things to come nationally.
Whether urology’s interests are served depends on youIn socioeconomic sessions at urology meetings, e-mail alerts transmitted before critical votes in Congress, or solicitations for political action committee donations, urologists are frequently reminded: “If you’re not at the table, you’ll be on the menu.”